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Original Contribution
March 23 2011

Use of Fibrates in the United States and Canada

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, College of Pharmacy, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California (Drs Jackevicius and Carreon); Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Drs Jackevicius, Tu, and Ko); Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine (Drs Jackevicius and Tu) and Division of Cardiology, Schulich Heart Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (Drs Tu and Ko), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California (Dr Jackevicius); University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Dr Jackevicius); Department of Medicine, Section of General Internal Medicine (Dr Ross), Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Section of Health Policy and Administration (Dr Krumholz), and Section of Cardiovascular Medicine (Dr Krumholz), Yale University School of Medicine, Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut (Drs Ross and Krumholz); and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, New Haven, Connecticut (Dr Krumholz)

JAMA. 2011;305(12):1217-1224. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.353
Abstract

Context Interest in the role of fibrates intensified after the publication of the negative results from the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial, which assessed therapy with fenofibrate plus statins. The evidence for clinical benefit in outcomes with the use of fibrates is heavily weighted on the use of the older fibrates such as gemfibrozil and clofibrate.

Objectives To examine trends in the current use of fibrates and to examine the relationship between differences in the availability and use of brand-name vs generic formulations of fenofibrate and the economic implications in the United States compared with Canada.

Design, Setting, and Patients Population-level, observational cohort study using IMS Health data from the United States and Canada of patients prescribed fibrates between January 2002 and December 2009.

Main Outcome Measures Fibrate prescriptions dispensed and expenditures.

Results In the United States, fibrate prescriptions dispensed increased from 336 prescriptions/100 000 population in January 2002 to 730 prescriptions/100 000 population in December 2009, an increase of 117.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 116.0%-117.9%), whereas in Canada, fibrate prescriptions increased from 402 prescriptions/100 000 population in January 2002 to 474 prescriptions/100 000 population in December 2009, an increase of 18.1% (95% CI, 17.9%-18.3%) (P <.001). In the United States, fenofibrate prescriptions dispensed increased from 150 prescriptions/100 000 population in January 2002 to 440 prescriptions/100 000 population in December 2009, an increase of 159.3% (95% CI, 157.7%-161.0%), comprising 47.9% of total fibrate prescriptions in 2002 and 65.2% in 2009. In Canada, fenofibrate prescriptions increased from 321 prescriptions/100 000 population in January 2002 to 429 prescriptions/100 000 population in December 2009. The annual ratio of generic to brand-name fenofibrate use in the United States ranged from 0:1 to 0.09:1 between 2002 and 2008, while the ratio in Canada steadily increased from 0.51:1 to 1.89:1 between 2005 and 2008. In the United States, crude fenofibrate expenditures increased from $11 535/100 000 population/month in 2002 to $44 975/100 000 population/month in 2009, while the rates in Canada declined from $17 695/100 000 population/month in 2002 to $16 112/100 000 population/month in 2009. Fibrate expenditures per 100 000 population were 3-fold higher in 2009 in the United States compared with Canada.

Conclusion During the past decade, prescriptions for fibrates (particularly fenofibrate) increased in the United States, while prescriptions for fibrates in Canada remained stable.

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